How easily people are fooled or mislead is disheartening. Mark Twain’s quote, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” is also true when it comes to misinformation online. “Who is the source of the information?” is one of the most important questions to ask before believing and sharing anything you find online.
Nowadays, anyone with a keyboard and internet connection can create and share anything they’d like. There are even sites dedicated to writing and sharing satire news stories. Even with disclaimers stating they are satire, their articles are shared with outrage as truth. That makes it even more important to verify information, and also to teach our kids how to verify what they’re reading or are being told is true. We, as adults need to start doing a better job so we can also equip our kids with tools, ideas, and practices necessary to allow them to think critically vs become sheep.
Check your sources, not only to verify the validity of the information, but if someone were to ask where you heard/got that info…. it is good to be able to say more than just “the internet” [cue State Farm commercial: http://youtu.be/v_CgPsGY5Mw]. It is also good to practice researching the information to come to your own conclusions and truth vs believing it solely because someone else does or says you should.